Friday, December 5, 2014

Ho, Ho, Holiday Shopping

I thought I would post some fun Friday favorites for the holiday season. Since my birthday and Christmas are within two weeks, I usually scope out the sales and splurge after Christmas so I can really enjoy my birthday! I pretty much have everything I need for Christmas and love spoiling the kiddos! If you are shopping and stumped, try out some of the awesome ideas! 

For the Runner or Athlete // 

Oiselle jacket that looks warm and yummy. Def. want in cream for my birthday! 

Fingerholds in the sleeves? Sold! Oiselle//

Distance shorts//Oiselle 

Love this Gwen tank from Oiselle// 

And in gray!//

Pretty things // 

For dry hands after washing dishes, laundry, baby's bottom, etc!//

I get so frustrated having to take my gloves off when I am texting. Really like these texting fingertip gloves .

Add in some shimmer for the holidays.// 
Or Rudolph red Hunters. A classic staple item for Richmond weather that can be dreary and rainy in November and December. I can't find the bubblegum pink ones anymore. Any ideas?!

For the Chef // 

 The queen herself!
Who wouldn't want a Le Creuset dutch oven in this dreamy color? 

For the home//

A cute and unique door knocker

An amazing piece of art from Teil Duncan. I would love one of her prints or artwork in our new home. A great anniversary present too! 

How cute would this be in a nursery or an all-white kitchen? With a punch of pink on a kitchen window seat?

Like this kitchen? Replace the art with Carn's or Duncan's! designed by Eclectic Charleston.

For the Prep// 

Love Vineyard Vine's gingham shirt. 

And their classic shep sweater in pink. 

This buffalo check vest from JCrew is swoon-worthy. 

Open-knit off white sweater 

JCrew festive sweaters now 30 percent off.//

Have a great holiday season!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bon Appetit!

With the holidays approaching and rich food, gaining weight over the holidays is pretty common. Since the holidays are meant to be enjoyed, I don't think you have to go into "dieting" mode. Which, really, I don't understand anyways. Your whole life you are going to be on a "diet?"

Since last March I have lost almost nine pounds. With nursing and pregnancy, my body is crazy and won't allow me to lose the weight until my babies are 2.5 years old.

2013 with Ryder 

2014 with Ryder! 
More than dieting, I feel it's a mindset of healthy and whole eating. Whole eating means not eating out as much and packing snacks, instead of going through the drive through. And planning out meals that are filling, lean and balanced with lots of fruits and veggies.

So, here are some of the things I have found after having three babies helps me.
  • Pack healthy snacks for on the go and water 
  • Make eating out a treat and not a daily occurrence. But, when you go out, enjoy it!! It's supposed to be a treat! I order pretty much whatever I want, including beer. I might take longer to lose the baby weight, but it means I will stay motivated. 
  • Trim out the red meat and use lean proteins like eggs, chicken and seafood. 
  • Beans! Ask my husband. He gets a little tired of having beans, but they are so great for your health and budget friendly.
Speaking of budgets 
Eating healthy is actually healthy for your wallet! Michael Pollan says you can make anything you want that you would eat at a restaurant, if you can make it at home. And the link to his site has some great resources to cooking videos.

Some of our favorite foods include: 
  • Homemade french fries with homemade ranch (half mayo, half yogurt with herbs and smashed garlic with kosher salt) 
  • Suishi rice at home - So much better than regular rice because it's sticky and it's easy kid cleanup. 
  • Homemade chinese stir fry 
  • Homemade hot chocolate - a great alternative to ice cream
  • Homemade chocolate chip cookies - a treat and great when you want to know what's in your cookies. Some cookies have soy or palm oil. Gross! 

  • Smoothies and milkshakes - Honestly, most restaurant smoothies are stocked with sugar. I use Stonyfield Whole Plain Yogurt. It has enough fat to keep you full, but low sugar. And a bag of frozen foot, juice or milk and about a cup of yogurt as a base recipe. 
All yogurt is not the same
And while we are on the topic. Can I just talk about low-fat or fat free yogurt? It's horrible for you. Like Sophie said, "it tastes like medicine!" Whole milk yogurt in a small portion size is better for you and will keep you full longer. 

Want to know a secret? I love the Stonyfield whole baby yogurt. It's 4 oz and tastes amazing, but only has 13 grams of sugar. 

And can I show you what will be on our envelopes for Christmas cards? Julia. : )

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday Tip + foiled again!

I thought it would be fun to share the little tips that I have found useful. With three kids and cooking so many meals, to shopping and clothing three littles, tips are so helpful!!

Personally, my little guys are always, always starving in the morning. They wake up ready to eat. And especially Brandon, who loves to have something warm to start the day.

So enter the egg sandwich. It's a humble guy, who you can pretty much empty the fridge. The possibilities are really endless. However, what you put inside isn't as important as what you put outside.


Yes, there is a special trick to having the perfect toasted breakfast egg sandwich.

It all started when I worked as a legislative intern at the Ohio Statehouse. The cafeteria had this amazing egg sandwich that was wrapped in aluminum foil.

Foil. It's the trick of the century.

That foil did an amazing job of making all of the egg sandwich ingredients steam together to make a breakfast yumminess in my stomach. It was so good. So I tried it one morning and Brandon was hooked. He loved it.

Scrambled eggs + gooey cheese (I use Horizon organic cheese slices) and whole wheat toast topped with lettuce and fresh tomatoes. It is so good. And so healthy! Add some heat with some sirachi sauce and you have a winner.

A great tip to having super amazing eggs? Add butter + canola oil. Heat your skillet on medium-high for 2 minutes and add 1 TBS butter and 1/2 tsp of canola oil for 2 more minutes. Add eggs scrambled to skillet and move around UNTIL almost set. Then immediately remove and keep moving eggs around skillet until eggs are set. Enjoy! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gobble, Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!
We had a great time together celebrating Thanksgiving this year. With all of the craziness of the past months, we were so relaxed and had so much free time. It was actually really nice to get some rest and the laundry done. And to play UNO, FaceTime with family and make loads of food.


So thankful

Alton Brown's recipe for turkey//

Green beans with crispy onions 

Homemade stuffing with mushrooms, french bread, parsley and thyme and fresh cranberries. So yummy. Making it ahead makes it even better. 
This sweet little beauty gave us so much turkey. We have turkey still and a whole bunch in the freezer. I made a 10-11 lb turkey and got enough to feed 20 people! Next year I would probably add more lemons and rosemary and cook little less. I put it in the oven after brining at 10:30 am and it was ready around 3:15 pm. It was a fresh, natural turkey. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving and "the list"

This year we are hosting ... ourselves! It's our last year to have a Thanksgiving in Virginia since we are moving to Ohio in the summer. So we thought it would be nice to stay home and get some home things crossed off the list. Although I will miss our families, the 10 hour drive both ways is a lot in five days. It just makes us more excited to go up for Christmas!!

In my hometown in Ohio, if you wanted to bring something to dinner our Yoder family had a system. GG, a Tennessee mom to nine and grandma to 28 grandchildren, is the "keeper of the list." Which means you only bring something when you check in with her and get her approval to "put it on the list." So I would be talking with mom and she would say, "call GG and get your item on the list."

GG is in the far right in front of the pillow. My mom is in the blue shirt. 
You may suggest something to GG and not get your entree or side on the list for Thanksgiving or Easter that year. That's ok. You move on to suggestion #2 or #3. And don't get cocky if you are a grandchild or extended family.

This isn't the big varsity day for you. You will not get in to the first team line-up with "A" items like ham, turkey or dressing. Or mashed potatoes. You thought you would get get mashed potatoes? That's so cute. And Santa is real you say?

Those my friends are coveted positions only the varsity aunts and GGs are assigned to. You will bring wine, dessert or possibly, possibly salad (Becca got salad put on "the list" in 2009 and somehow it has stayed. She's such a pioneer).

And honestly, having a bountiful meal of amazing food is amazing. And we appreciate the hard work GG does assembling such great list of food and the aunts do creating such a good spread. 

Anyways, I digress...The whole "list" was totally up to me this year. So I went crazy. I am cooking for two days and then not cooking anything for a week!!:)

Here it is!

Thanksgiving Day

//Citrus Roasted Herb Turkey

//Mashed potatoes with sour cream

//Dressing with thyme, cranberries, mushrooms//

//Brussel sprouts with escarole salad 

//Dinner Rolls

//Green bean casserole with crispy onions (outrageously amazing recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

Smitten Kitchen 

//Pumpkin Tiramisu//made day ahead 

Food and Wine 

//ice cream 

I will have to run about 10 miles this weekend to break even!!

Another fun thing we do is to put brown craft paper on the table for the kids to write on, instead of a fancy tablecloth. The kids love it and it's super easy to clean up.

Have a great holiday! Are you hosting or attending a dinner? Are you going the traditional route with pies or going crazy with another creation?